By JAMES MILLER
Hart Buckendahl wants to be mayor of Penticton.
The 65-year-old contractor, who previously served for two terms as Mayor of Oliver, told The Herald Monday that should Dan Ashton be elected MLA and a byelection is necessary, he will definitely put his name in.
"I'm not a greenhorn with politics," Buckendahl said. "I was on Oliver council for a term, two terms as mayor, I sat on the RDOS, the hospital board, the water board and just about every other board you can think of."
Buckendahl was born in Germany but moved to Beaverdale, before spending most of his life in Oliver and has resided in Penticton for the past seven years, living on Evergreen Drive.
"I believe I have something to offer the voters. I offer experience, I offer my time and I have a sincere interest in what goes on in Penticton having lived in the area for 60 years."
For his energy efficiency work, he won the Order of British Columbia in 2010.
Buckendahl is now one of four proposed candidates who said they will seek the mayor's job should it become open in May 2013. Coun. Garry Litke and mayoral runner-up Julius Bloomfield have both announced they will run. Vic Powell, who collected 372 votes in the 2011 mayoral election, wrote in a letter to the editor of today's Herald that he too will be running.
Buckendahl, a member of the B.C. Liberal party, said job creation is the biggest issue facing Penticton.
"We need jobs for our young people. We must maintain the jobs we have here and then do what we can to attract new employment. We need to maintain the high standards that we expect in Penticton while maintaining control of the taxes at the same time. I believe the council of the moment is trying hard to do that but they've got to hold taxes in line and find new jobs."